Life at PCD

Chowder Day & Reunion

SATURDAY, October 15, 2022

Join us for our annual family homecoming and alumni reunion. A full day of athletic events, family fun, and delicious New England chowder make this a "don't miss this" kind of day!

This community-wide event began in the 1944 and has been a much anticipated annual tradition ever since. Parents, grandparents, students, siblings, alumni, alumni parents, and friends come together to cheer on the PCD Knights in athletic contests throughout the day, enjoy chowder and clam cakes, and chat with old friends and new. The day promises terrific competition, amazing chowder and lots of fun. Everyone is welcome—the more the merrier!

Oct 2022 Schedule

9:00 AM - 1 PM
Alumni Registration & Coffee
Alumni Tent on the field
Pick up your alumni button for complimentary chowder.

9:00 AM     
Bike Ride in Memory of Former Associate Head of School, Mr. Ed Ames, Jr.
Surrounding Community
All are welcome.
9:00 AM      
Middle School Cross Country vs. Blackstone Valley Prep, Community Prep, Lincoln and Wheeler Schools
Campus Perimeter

9:00 AM        
Middle School Girls “A” Soccer vs. Times 2 Academy
Varsity Turf Field

9:00 AM
Middle School Boys “A” Soccer vs. Community Prep School
Varsity Turf Field

9:00 AM    
JV Girls Volleyball vs. Times 2 Academy/Paul Cuffee Co-op
Moran Gymnasium

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM  
Children’s Activities
Children of all ages will find fun throughout the day.

10:00 AM    
Henry Barnard School Games
Varsity Turf Field

10:30 AM  
Varsity Girls Volleyball vs. Times 2 Academy/Paul Cuffee Co-op
Moran Gymnasium

11:00 AM     
Varsity Girls Soccer vs. Times 2/Paul Cuffee Co-op
Varsity Turf Field
11:00 AM    
Varsity Cross Country vs. St. Andrews, Marianapolis, CATS Academy, and Juanita Sanchez Schools
Campus Perimeter

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM  
Chowder Buffet Luncheon
Evan R. West Field House
Traditional feast includes New England clam chowder provided by Blount Fine Foods with additional support from FLIK Dining Services and Tourtellot & Co.

11:45 AM    
National Anthem & Alma Mater
Varsity Turf / Woodruff Fields

12:00 PM      
Varsity Football Senior Recognition
Woodruff Field

12:15 PM      
Varsity Football vs. Exeter-West Greenwich/Prout Co-op
Woodruff Field

2:00 PM
Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Toll Gate High School
Varsity Turf Field

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM    
Alumni Wine Tasting & Reception
Corkery Auditorium, 2nd Floor Metcalf Building
All alumni are welcome. Wine will be served. Positive 21+ ID required.

Chowder Day History

If you are the author or know who is, please let us know!
Sometime in 1943 or 1944 a sublime thought came to Carl Hesse. What his motivation was has been lost. It could have been to create an occasion for the PCD community to come together one more time, before what was sure to be a difficult winter. The war in the Pacific and Europe was trudging through some of its darkest hours and there were PCD boy involved and yet to be involved. With the closeness of this community the realities of war would have been only a hand clasp away.

Perhaps it was a recollection of his own past that inspired him. Perhaps, just a frivolity, a distraction to, for a few hours, hide away the burdens of war; a celebration of the boys and their youth. Whatever the reasoning, headmaster Ed Lund must have thought the idea was a good one.

The event that emerged in the fall of 43 or 44 was the “Chowder Party.” The only sport played on that day was football. But the feeling on campus must have been similar to the myriad sport “Chowder Day” that we now know. The snap in the air, the collage of the leaves. The flashes and patches of red and black on the playing field and stippled about the crowd of spectators and the smiles, the bugs, the cheering.

After the game, then as now, their and our focus turned and turns to chowder. The answers to why chowder was chosen are speculation. Purely New England warming in all aspects, a simple delicacy for a family to gather around. Each person giving some small portion, each portion combined with the others; the end product being greater than the some of its parts, the resulting experience being joyous, fulfilling, memorable, was chowder Hesse’s metaphor for PCD?

Through the years the ingredients for “Chowder Day” have varied but the flavor remains the same. In the early years the fathers of students cooked the chowder on the “east side” and served it on the “west side” in Metcalf Gymnasium (now relocated to the east of Pawtucket Ave and serving as the Middle School). Besides clam chowder, coffee, corn, donuts, apples and, of course, clam cakes have shared the menu.

Floral decorations for one particular “Chowder Party” were chrysanthemums in football helmets. In 1955, 365 alumni, parents, students and friends assembled to join in the revelry. There was a light drizzle in the air that day, the yearbook makes note: “cars lining the field attested to the loyalty of fans who took to the bleachers at dry moments.” Each year a little different, each year so much the same.

This is dedicated to “Chowder Day,” to Carl Hesse, to Ed Lund, to all those chowder cooking fathers, to the alumni and to all the students and parents of PCD. Turn your thoughts to the symbol of this day and why Carl Hesse chose it, the modest soup of New England with complex flavor, Chowder.